I Don’t Have Gas
SOMETIMES I JUST DON’T KNOW WHO TO BELIEVE. I hear somebody say something and I automatically take what they say as truthful. It’s not long before “WHAM!” I find out that the Truth is more elusive than a Penguin at the North Pole.
What gets me thinking about this was my recent experience of trying to buy fuel for the Toyota. It made my head spin.
I was up early and headed out for my morning coffee. I noticed that the gas gauge in the car was indicating that I was rolling on fumes. To avert an embarrassing stop by the side of the road I pulled into the 24 Hour gas station up the block from the Chapel of St. Arbucks.
I followed the standard routine and pushed my credit card into the tiny slot like I had done a thousand times before.
Nothing. Nothing happened at all.
On the little screen that glowed on the pump was a message. “Unknown Card – See Attendant.”
Huh? I have been using that same card for years without a hitch. So what the heck was going on? I followed instructions like a good little customer and I galumphed over to the little glass box where they keep the Attendant. She was there…reading a comic book (Or a “Graphic Novel” if you are under 40). She was enthralled with whatever was going on in her comic book and did not notice me standing there six inches away from her on the other side of the glass.
I knew it was bulletproof, but I didn’t know it was customer-proof. I knocked on the glass. She jumped.
I told her about my problem at the pump and she looked at me as if I was speaking to her in Klingon…or maybe it was my usage of correct grammar and pronunciation that threw her for a loop. I tried again to explain what was, or wasn’t, going on with the gas pump.
Me: “I want gas. Card no work.”
Girl in Glass Box: “Huh?”
Me: “Why pump no work?” (I felt like Tonto.)
Girl in Glass Box: “Oh, we;re not open yet.”
Me: “What? You’re not open? You’re a 24 Hour gas station. How can you not be open?”
Girl in Glass Box: …(Shrug – and she picked up her comic book.)
I walked away feeling helpless, but clearly an intellectually superior person. Not bad for 6 AM.
What else could I do? I suppose I could have unleashed a thunderbolt of obscenities, but it was freezing cold and I needed my coffee.
I walked away with the realization that I had just conversed with someone who moves her lips while reading a comic book and this same person has control of thousands of gallons of explosive gasoline. I will never sleep soundly again knowing that. If she flips the wrong switch there could be a neighborhood changing event. We don’t live far enough away to escape that blast unscathed.
If it would go up in a big fireball the St. Arbucks I go to would be toast – literally.